Starting Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry this fall, Danielle McCaffrey frees up the professional staff at Optix Family Eyecare in Plainview, N.Y., by accomplishing non-revenue-generating tasks.
Your team is your biggest asset. We recently heard a story (one we've heard numerous times before) about a patient who will no longer go to a doctor they love because the front desk staff was rude and unaccommodating. We've also heard numerous stories about patients who were very impressed with the level of service they received. Although the outcomes were different, in all of these situations the staff member was in "revenue-generating" mode.
There are two categories in which your employees spend their time—revenue generating and non-revenue generating. You are generating revenue when you're scheduling an exam, pre-testing a patient, helping a patient choose glasses, following up on insurance claims, collecting accounts receivable, and performing other tasks that directly impact your practice's income. Typically, any time you are working with a patient there is an opportunity for revenue generation.
Many of the daily tasks in the office are non-revenue-generating, such as scanning documents, pulling files, cleaning, stocking shelves, unpacking boxes, etc. While these tasks are important for successfully running a business, they do not directly generate revenue. Therefore, the business goal is to accomplish these tasks correctly while minimizing cost to the practice. One of the most time-consuming tasks, especially when an office is going "paperless," is scanning old records. Teaching a few students how to scan is a very effective way to move forward without tying up your core team.
Additionally, well run offices have their best revenue-generating employees focusing on patient care. This yields the best return on investment. If your best receptionist who excels at scheduling additional family members and navigating the hard question "How much is an eye exam?" is busy on non-revenue-generating tasks, appointments may slip through the cracks.
One successful method for keeping the right person in the right seat is hiring minimum wage high school or college students to take care of those non-revenue generating tasks. Here is a list of responsibilities that you can customize for your office:
- Clean and fill lollipop basket, tell manager if more need to be ordered.
- Clean and fill eye drops display, tell manager if more need to be ordered.
- Alphabetize patient file in-box and put files into drawers.
- Fill paper forms.
- Fill plastic bags.
- Fill spray drawers
- Fill case drawers
Optical Sales Area
- Put frames in order by "tag" color then frame type, rimless, plastic, men's metal, women's metal.
- Check inventory of drawers, pens, markers, progressive reading packet, optical sales forms, receipts, cleaning cloths, ruler, etc.
- Organize brand name cases in alphabetical order.
- Organize peg boards by manufacturer and clean frames.
Jay Binkowitz, optometric business consultant, is chief executive officer and president of
GPN, exclusive provider of The EDGE.
Evan Kestenbaum, MBA, is chief information officer of
GPN, Exclusive Provider of The EDGE. Contact Jay and Evan directly at